Huntsville, AL (WHNT) – Huntsville Fire and Rescue (HFR) along with other firefighters across the country are taking part in fire prevention week. This nationwide campaign is held every year by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

This year’s fire prevention week will run through October 14th and the theme is ‘Cooking safety starts with YOU.’ NFPA has sponsored fire prevention week since 1922 and in 1925 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed it a national observance.

“The reason why we have fire prevention week is to try to bring more awareness to this week and to the service we provide,” HFR Assistant Fire Marshall Trent Bennett said.

According to NFPA, cooking-related fires are the leading cause of house fires and house fire-related injuries. Unattended cooking fires are the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths.

Turning in handles for pots and pans on the stove, watching the food you are cooking, and making sure you have a kid-free zone.

If a grease fire happens on your stove, and it is not out of control, put a cookie sheet on top of it. This will deplete the oxygen supply putting the fire out. When it comes to an overfire, leave the oven fire closed, the fire will eventually put itself out.

Whether you have a small stovetop fire or a serious kitchen fire call 9-1-1. Firefighters will come put the fire out. If the fire is out, it’s still a good idea to have them come and make sure there are no hot spots.

Bennett said it is also important to have an evacuation plan in case of a fire at your home.

“Everybody does need to have an evacuation plan, especially when there are children in the home have a meeting space outside that once you evacuate the home you should never ever go back in,” he said.

It is important to have a plan in place for if a fire were to occur in your home. Children should know the safest route out of their homes, an alternate route if they are unable to exit that way, and a safe place to meet outside.

While the turnouts and SCBAs may make the firefighters look scary, encourage your child not to be afraid. The firefighters are there to help them. Bennett said HFR is always willing to help get children more comfortable.

“You know if they want to come by the fire station and see what we look like,” he said, “it would be a great thing and see what we actually look like so you won’t be intimidated because we are there to help you”

You can learn more about Fire Prevention Week on the NFPA’s website.

Trent Bennett with Huntsville Fire and Rescue says as we head into the cold season the number of calls will begin to increase. It is important to remember heat safety and to heat your home correctly.

When using a space heater keep it away from combustibles and never use an extension cord.